Our movement has come a long way with regards to LGBTQ inclusion, but there’s a long way left to go. A recent survey of trans UUs found that only 28% feel that their current or most recent congregation is completely inclusive of them as trans people. The average UU congregation was recognized as a Welcoming Congregation in 2004, almost 15 years ago, and has not done any deep, intentional work since to challenge assumptions and unintentionally unwelcoming aspects of congregational life when it comes to the full diversity of LGBTQ communities.
My dear friend Rev. Mykal Slack and I, both of us trans faith leaders, have personal, painful experiences of this. I was raised within Unitarian Universalism, and yet I have never found a congregation where it felt like I could get my spiritual needs met. Mykal found Unitarian Universalism later in life and has similarly struggled to feel like there is a place within this religion for all of who he is.
So we are issuing an invitation to congregations that are serious about changing this narrative: we’ve released an online course that we hope congregations will engage with as whole communities: “Transgender Inclusion in Congregations.” This is not limited to “trans 101”—rather, it’s a comprehensive, six-session online course for individuals, groups, and congregational teams that are committed to transformation.
Each of the course’s six sessions includes a 45- to 60-minute pre-recorded lecture by me and Mykal, reflection questions, and resources that take the conversation deeper. In addition, we will be holding regular live video chats for all current or past course participants.
The course is offered on a sliding scale to both individuals and whole congregations. There are lots of ways that congregations can engage in it holistically and we encourage you to get in touch with us if you have any questions or want to strategize. Once a congregation purchases the course, all of its members get access to it for as long as we run it (which will likely be several years), so the course can be taken by multiple groups over time.
I hope you’ll join me and Mykal in working to transform the experience of trans people within Unitarian Universalism. In the process, I guarantee that all of us will be transformed. Find out more and sign up here.
Zr. Alex Kapitan
Transforming Hearts Collective